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Marco Sportiello is Bartłomiej Drągowski’s Worst Nightmare

Competition is always good right?

ACF Fiorentina v AS Roma - Serie A
Sportiello has been solid so far in Florence.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Goalkeepers tend to be a strange bunch of humans, as a goalie myself I understand this more than most. The toughest part about the position is competition and never understanding when you will get your shot. This can also be said about losing the position. One day you can be the best keeper in the world and the next you can be pushed out of town because of one bad goal. In fact, most keepers do not get enough credit for when they do their jobs, but are the scapegoat when they make a minor mistake. It’s a tough position with a lot of scrutiny. Luckily, Fiorentina has had a pretty solid run of keepers in recent memory. They currently have two guys on the roster that have the potential to be stars at the position in European football.

The current starter is Marco Sportiello. The 25-year-old Italian keeper has had early success in his career with Atalanta. Now on loan with Fiorentina, Sportiello has earned the trust of manager Stefano Pioli. Luckily for the Tuscan club, Sportiello can be purchased at the end of the season from Atalanta. In 12 games this season Sportiello has given up 17 goals. That averages out to 1.42 goals per game. Ideally that number would be lower, but it is not terrible for a keeper that has a brand new defense in front of him. To go along with the goals against average, Sportiello has 3 clean sheets in 12 games which is a clean sheet rate of 25%. That’s a pretty solid number for the Italian goalkeeper. Overall, Sportiello passes the eye test in goal and has put forward very solid performances this season. It is likely that Sportiello will be the keeper of the present and future.

There is another up and coming goalie on the roster by the name of Bartłomiej Drągowski. The young Polish keeper is considered to be one of the brightest young goalkeeping prospects in the world. It is tough to get reps when there is someone blocking Drągowski from getting a chance at playing time on the roster. Pioli seems to have made his choice. If magically Sportiello stops performing then Bart will get a shot. The only other real option for the keeper to get playing time is an injury or if he goes out on loan. At this point Drągowski is still young and just getting practice reps will be fine. Game experience needs to come soon though. If Bart does not get some actual playing time he may digress as a player. It would behoove the Fiorentina front office to send Bart out on loan to get some real first team reps and sign a veteran to backup Sportiello. Having too many players for one position is a good problem to have. Picking the right guy makes it tough though.